Ghost bridges

This bridge was destroyed in the 2013 floods. What trail was it on, and what waterway did it span? (There’s a clearer daytime photo in the gallery below). Click for a larger, scarier image.

With Hallowe’en right around the corner, this is an appropriate time to remember these long lost bridges which now live only in pictures and our imaginations.

The floods of 2013 destroyed or damaged many ski trail bridges, but I can still visualize these ghost bridges when I ski past their graves locations. 

Most of the bridges pictured here no longer exist, but two of them were repaired and put back onto the trails, although not exactly in the same location. I guess those “back-from-the-dead” could be referred to as zombie bridges. 

Bridge #1, also pictured at the top of this post, is going to be very difficult to guess. It’s possible someone might recognize the mountain in the background. This old style of bridge was evident in one of the parks. If Hallowe’en comes, and you still haven’t figured it out, I might give some hints. 

One of the old wooden bridges in the pictures was destroyed by flooding in 2011. 

One of these bridges is a new bridge placed in a location where no bridge previously existed. 

To recap, pictured below are seven ghost bridges, two zombie bridges, and one new bridge.  How many can you identify?


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  1. Hint: Bridge #1 was “lost.” Picture of bridge after the flood

    • Red Earth Creek on the way to Shadow Lake Lodge?

      I’ll give it to you. It’s the Lost Horse Creek bridge at 6.9K along the Redearth Creek trail. A narrow replacement bridge was installed within a few days so that the guests of Shadow lake Lodge could get through. Here’s a picture of the new bridge in the winter. When I biked the trail this summer, the bridge was broken, perhaps from the horses which use the trail. A wider, sturdier bridge was constructed near the same location but it’s more difficult to cross with skis. -Bob

  2. #2 was over the Spray River at the far end of Spray Loop. That little bridge had a lot of character and I miss it every time I go around there. -Correct.
    #8 was at the end of the Healy/Brewster Creek trail by the Sunshine road. – Correct.

    They’ve all been identified except #1. It was in Banff National Park, and it was replaced by a narrow log bridge within a few days of the flood. The park has also built a wider, sturdier bridge at the location. -Bob

  3. Going with Healy Creek for #8 by process of elimination. This would be where they just built the brand new big bridge after the parking lot. – Correct.

  4. That was a fun post Bob. I only got 3 right (Ribbon’s & Milne) and feel as though I distinctly recognize #8 but can’t place it. Where o where? If anything, I will now endeavour to rest stop for much longer at future crossings for sake which I may never see again!

  5. #2 – is this on the Healy Creek Trail? Only thing I can think of with a river to the left.
    #8 – is this right where the trail crosses the river from the Ribbon Creek Trail going up towards the Village? Link/Kovach area?

    Both incorrect but one of the bridges you mentioned is one of those we’re still looking for. Diana already guessed #3 as the Link/Ribbon Creek bridge. -Bob

  6. Is number 3 over Ribbon Creek at the Link trail?

    If you meant “over the Link trail where it meets Ribbon Creek” you’re correct. -Bob

    • Number 7 also looks like Ribbon Creek, because of the mountain in the background…….. hmmmmmm……….. – Correct.

      We’re still looking for the identity of #1, 2, and 8. -Bob

  7. #9 Bill Milne – Correct. This bridge was rebuilt and moved to its new location when the trail was also rebuilt in its new location parallelling the highway. -Bob

  8. #1 – Boom Lake Trail at the beginning? Though I don’t think that bridge was ever replaced or lost.

    It does look similar but that’s not it. -Bob

  9. At the risk of burying Gord F in the Backcountry, I feel a responsibility to speak up:
    #4 Cascade River
    #5 Spray River
    #6 Goat Creek
    #10 Brewster Creek

    All correct, sort of. #6 is the same location as #5. It’s where Goat Creek and Spray River join. #6 is the old wooden bridge, forerunner to the new metal bridge shown in #5. The new metal bridge is back in place, a few metres upstream of the old location.-Bob

    • Well then I was not correct for #6. There is no bridge (and never was a bridge) where Goat Creek and Spray River join. I was thinking of Goat Creek, but i was wrong. Thanks for being so easy on me Bob, but I the distinction is important because the locations are often misidentified, presumably because of the name of the trail.
      Map of Goat Creek and Spray River

      • I should also clarify. The bridge is where Goat Creek TRAIL and Spray River TRAIL join. You are right, there is no trail or bridge at the confluence of the two waterways.

  10. I think #1 is Fox Creek. I helped the repair, but that’s only a guess

    Nice try but wrong, and thanks for helping make the repairs! -Bob

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